Multiple Teams · NC Varsity Football falls to Mansfield High 31-12

Friday, November 10, 2017

7:30 PM

North Crowley High School
Mansfield High

Game Recap

On the final evening of our 2017 season, we would travel to Mansfield High to battle our district champion. The contest would feature a 1st half defensive battle were neither team could truly work to obtain any offensive rhythm or dominance. With nothing to lose, the NoCro Panthers would lay it on the line and provide our best effort in attempts to give Mansfield a loss headed into state-wide playoff action next week. Mansfield would open the contest with a FG after the defense held Mansfield to such feats after a fumbled punt attempt on a cool 43 degree night in the metropolitan area. Those three points would be the only points Mansfield would score the entire 1st half. On the very next drive our offense would take a drive all the way into the red zone. After a few penalties and tough plus territory defense by Mansfield, we would connect on a tipped passed by Mansfield defenders guarding stud WR-Julian Jones when the ball fell into a hustling players hands…Sr. WR-Mark Bailey who caught the deflected pass on the 1yd line, waltzing in and scoring the games 1st TD giving us a 6-3 advantage in the 1st quarter. A 6-3 lead that would hold for the entire 1st half as both defenses refused to relent on their pressure or footprints placed upon the game thus far. Usually colder weather promotes more defensive oriented football and that was certainly the case on this night as 6-3 would be the score heading into halftime.

Unfortunately trailing 6-3, at half time wasn’t near enough as Mansfield would score 28 unanswered points in the second half defeating us 31-12 and win their second consecutive District 4-6A Division II title. The score and stats are misleading because both teams tallied under 300yds of total offense, yet we held Mansfield to a season low 256yds of total offense. Where on the flip side, we out gained Mansfield in offensive yardage, yet unable to touch the end zone to turn those red zone opportunities into points. Of course the final game and loss comes on a bitter sweet plate. We finish the season 4-6 and we lost two district games at home, both by 1pt and both games that if won clinches our playoff births and hopes of getting into the playoffs for the 1st time since 2008. That dream righteously has been put on hold for one more season. However the magnificent season held by many of our players and the successful strides of the program has to be the saving grace of the blessings of this 2017 season for NoCro.

Offensively we were led on the season by quarterback Jr. Caleb Leake, outstanding RB-Jailen Robinson and WR’s-Julian Jones along with Mark Bailey. Both Robinson and Jones had seasons that have been program best in a very long time as Robinson carried the ball 132 times, for 1,160 yds and 10TD’s, while magnificent WR-J. Jones put together a stellar Sr. season campaign with 56 cathces, 900yds for 18TD’s. Of course the offensive line had every bit of responsibility behind these program best offensive numbers and have certainly paved the way for future Panthers to match their level of physicality in the trenches to help our dynamic skill players have such fine seasons. Bailey finished the game with a career best 114 yards on 13 receptions.

Defensively on the season the Panthers were led by the courageous play of Jr. DT-Kelton Davis who played 6 district ball games with a severe injury that will require medical attention within the coming weeks. He steadied the defense as he had a 67 tackle season despite playing through the injury. Following him would be the play of Sr.’s DE/LB-Jaylan Sharp as he put forth a 70 tackle season along with Sr. LB-Mark Shelton who put up 72 tackles on the season. Other notable season performances would come from Sr. DE-Kerisis Thompson who led the team in TFL’s and had a 51 tackle season while Jr. LB-Justin Cleveland had a productive season as he led the team with 78 tackles on the season.

From the NoCro Football staff to you the fans, parents, coaches and those who follow the program…we thank you for your diligence and patience in observing this program and the strides being made to be great. The journey is nowhere close to being over, only the 2017 chapter of NoCro football has been closed…the future is extremely bright. NoCro is on the rise…until next time, God Bless and “Happy Hunting”!

Box Scores

North Crowley
Mansfield High